Ramp Pesto

One of the quickest, easiest ways to cook with ramps is to make this quick pesto that highlights their garlicky onion flavor. You will use only the leaves for this pesto, so it's a good recipe to keep handy if you are pickling or otherwise just using the bulbs in another recipe. Blanching the greens will keep the color vibrant, but be sure to fully cool them down before making the pesto. Feel free to use walnuts or hazelnuts instead of pine nuts, or to mix in other greens like kale or parsley. Spoon this pesto over roasted or grilled vegetables, meat, or seafood, or toss it with cooked pasta.

Basil Pesto
Photo: Photo by Huge Galdones / Food Styling by Christina Zerkis
Active Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
10 mins
1/2 cup


  • ¼ cup pine nuts

  • 2 bunches ramps (about 10 ounces)

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • ½ cup olive oil

  • Kosher salt


  1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Fill a medium bowl with ice and water.

  2. Toast pine nuts in a small skillet over medium, stirring frequently, until golden, 5 minutes (you can also toast them in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes). Transfer nuts to the bowl of a food processor to cool.

  3. Cut ramps to separate leaves from bulbs; reserve bulbs for another use. Blanch ramp leaves in boiling water for 15 seconds. Using tongs, transfer ramp leaves to ice bath and reserve until completely chilled, about 1 minute.

  4. Place ramp leaves in bowl of a food processor. Add garlic, and pulse until blended, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, 5 pulses. With the machine running, slowly pour in olive oil, and puree until almost smooth. Season with salt and store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 5 days.

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